Overcoming World Of Warcraft Addiction, Or Six Years Single

Overcoming World Of Warcraft Addiction, Or Six Years Single

While doctors and psychologists continue to debate whether or not such a thing as online video game addiction exist, those of us that have been through it continue to chronicle our tales. Anthony Rosner’s short film IRL demonstrates what happens when World of Warcraft becomes your life.

While the movie is a bit tongue-in-cheek in content and presentation, it certainly stirs memories of my time with EverQuest back in the day. That feeling of importance you get when you’re a key player in a top guild is incredibly intoxicating. And relationships? I burned through several in-game girlfriends before finally determining that anyone playing EverQuest as much as I was wasn’t likely a balanced individual.

But that’s a story for another time. This is Anthony’s story. It’s sad enough as it is.


  • The funny thing is, it’s not actually as tongue in cheek as you might think. Awesome video, and definitely stirred up some emotions from my 5 years of playing WoW in a stop end raiding guild.

  • As someone who has suffered through a number of borderline video game addictions i can understand a lot of the feelings that are expressed in this film. God knows my wife and i have had our fair share of fights over how much time i spend on various digital entertainment. Never quite that bad in recent years thankfully.

  • wow, my wife has got to the point where she doesn’t mind me playing – only that i give her an end time.
    In recent months this has worked really well, as I used to jump on at around 9 and finish up early hours and be tired all the time, now i jump on to my favourite games and can be finished up by 11.

    I have seen some dudes when i was at uni just like the guy above. Heart-breaking really.

  • I can understand gaming addiction, but not when it’s only one game… I get a gamecard for WoW maybe once a year; the game is too boring to play for long periods.

  • The thing is, it’s just another “I have a life now because I go out and party and drink” video, that paints Warcraft as an antisocial game where people sit at home all lonely doing nothing.

    My girlfriend and I have been together for almost 6 years, and we started out as just friends, both playing Warcraft. We don’t play it now due to the cost, but for us it wasn’t a big waste of time, it was something we really enjoyed doing together. Playing WoW doesn’t automatically stop you having a life and being happy, being a bit of an idiot takes care of that.

  • Guys that play this game for more than 2 hours a day and have a wife are deluded and wasting their life.
    I raided from vanilla to Lich King and while it’s not bad in the teens to early 20’s for any one else it’s just an excuse to avoid real life.
    I have friends and family that played, some still do and I’ve heard every excuse about why they play and trying to justify them selves..
    It’s quite pathetic.

    • God forbid people try and escape reality.
      I can’t speak for the people you personally know, but life is harsh and unfair, not everyone has the power to completely change their position in life, if you think a bit of hard work is the solution to everyone’s problems you’re living in just as much a fantasy land as they are.

      Do you know why mmos are so popular in many asian countries like china? Have a look at their average quality of life and their chances for increasing their position and means in the world. If after another day in a horrible job they despise, but simply cannot avoid they get to pretend to be a heroic paladin, good for them.

  • Make sure to read the linked article, it’s long, but it’s fantastic. Articles like that are why I like Kotaku. Incredible respect for Mike Fahey right now.

  • I lost my girlfriend and best friend of 4 years to a video game.

    So I started playing an MMO and ive been playing that for 2 years. Doesn’t feel great and the social anxiety ive always suffered has grown worse.

    To be honest I dont know what I would do if I stopped playing. Doesn’t make me proud of the life im living.

    • Start reversing the course of things. MMO wont solve ur issues. Just a fake/temporary solution, but since it’s got a compulsive nature = a trap.

  • Played for 3.5 years starting back in Vanilla and quit before Lich King came out. Got back into it for a grand total of 6 weeks after Lich King came out, realised it was still the same old shite again and again and quit for good. It’s fine when you’re single and you have the time to spare, but it only becomes an issue when mates phone up on a Friday night and say ‘Hey, let’s go out for some beers.’ and you say ‘Nah, sorry, gotta raid tonight.’ THAT’S when you have an issue.

    If you can blend a game such as WoW, or any other time consuming game/pasttime into your life – ie, work, sleep 6+ hours a night and still catch up with friends occasionally, you’re doing OK. Oh, and when you catch up with friends, if all you’re doing is playing or talking about WoW, that doesn’t count. I had many friends that used to do that. Leave the game at home. Talk about work, friends, family, current events etc. Relax. Don’t sit there wondering when it’s all over and how long it will be till you can get back home and grind rep or do your dailies, etc.

    I’m happily single, after ending a 2.5 year relationship (which did not contain WoW at any point) and have started playing FF14 in my spare time. When a mate rings up and wants to catch up, or invites me out, I’m there. I sleep 6 hours a night, have enough energy and enthusiasm for works as well as studying 3 nights a week. I’ll also leave the game unplayed for up to several days at a time.

    It’s about moderation, same as any other addictive substance, physical or virtual. Exercise a little self control and don’t slip into denial pattern thinking.
    Then, there’s no problem.

    • i completely agree, its all about moderation, sure, there are times where u feel like you cant let the team down in a game, but this is where i look at the scales and go, how do i counter balance that time spent, with IRL time with the wife/fiancee/gf/friends/family/dog…

      the strong have the ability to do this, the weak need to be shown, and its sad, but its a fact of life. this can be seen with any addiction really.

        • Well, only the wife and gf atm, as well as 2 kids. and the adults all play some WoW when we’ve got the time. Which isn’t so much for me these days, but I still have a lot of fun levelling toons up, not so much with the raiding.

  • I loved wow, and don’t regret more than a few months of the years I put into it, I met great people, had good times, and learnt a lot about myself and others. I wouldn’t in a million years go back to it now, but that’s because it’s the community went massively downhill as did the gameplay.

    Oh and for about 6 months my girlfriend of just over 4 years played with me, and I think it was good for our relationship too.

    • Exactly, WoW was great for my girlfriend and I to play together. We don’t play it now, but we regularly hit the top of the ladder together in things like TF2 instead.

      Some people actually enjoy playing games and I certainly don’t regret it, it’s a part of our lives and history, I don’t consider it wasted time at all.

  • I’m not sure it’s really about addiction tho, which most likely doesn’t exist, it’s more the compulsion to play more than anything. Extra Credit actually does a great video piece on this.

    Generally what I have found or seen, the compulsion to constantly play wow (or any perceived gaming addiction) is that there is a reason that they are doing it, usually to forget some trouble or to fill a hole emotionally.
    If you get to the heart of that problem, you’ll find their reason to compulsively play is gone and they will play less or stop completely.

    Long story short, the compulsion to play isn’t the issue, in fact we all do it for short periods in time, it’s finding the reason behind the long term compulsion is the issue.

    • It’s really going to depend on where you stand on what constitutes an ‘addiction,’ These days many will argue that the ‘compulsion’ is what makes it an addiction, but medically speaking it’s a lot less clear. WoW isn’t an addictive substance in the sense that you ingest it and it causes highs followed by lows unless continued and usually increased dosages are consumed…. but it does cause highs and the lack of stimulation when not playing are for all intents and purposes lows caused by the sudden lack of that wonderful dopamine whoziwhatsit.

      I’m in the camp that it’s not ‘technically’ an addiction, but that we should have some terminology to be used for it, because even if you disregard the physiological aspects (which you shouldn’t) there’s a whole box of psychological factors that mirror symptoms of addiction.

    • I do agree on some part of your assessment on it Soulsilver. I was a wow addict for 4 year and i would call myself a compulsive player for the first one, so a total of 5. I was unemployed, it filled my time when my friends were at school or work or whatever else they were doing. But in the end it did become an addiction i had work but i needed the wow fix, now i have never done any type of drugs so i wont reference anything to that, but i needed to have that fix, when i got some work it was only for an hour or i rushed my work to finish it to get back, not to fill a whole but i had a need to play it. I went for a 2 week period with no internet, you would not believe how badly i needed to play it, i made arrangements to go to a friends house for my raids and to hang out with them at night while i played at their house. When i didn’t play it i got physically sick, i barely slept i got visible shakes cause i needed to play it and other games i had on the 360 or the ps3 or anything like that didn’t do anything i would play them for 10 mins then go back to reading news on wow on my phone or reading up on just anything that would help me run my guild or help me some way in game.

      http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/addiction describes addiction as:
      “Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (gambling) that can be pleasurable but the continued use of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work or relationships, even health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.”

      Which in my personal experience is what i had to go through.

      Although now Ive cleaned up, 1 year wow addiction free but it was not easy to break and like they say an addiction is never not there we just fill that with other things which i do to stop myself from going back to it. But i dont fill it with one but with many things to not go back.

  • It baffles the mind that there’s still discussion on whether gaming can be an addiction or not. One would believe that after all the advances in psychology and at a point in time when, thanks to the Internet, the whole world is basically your test subject, we had already settled the silly debate on whether an addiction is defined only by an active, mind-enslaving component in the substance/activity in question, or rather, that addiction is a behavioral condition generated by the sufferer himself with or without direct influence of that to which he is addicted to.

    TL;DR: Anything can be addictive and you’ll find addicts of anything.

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